Interview With Landscape Photographer Martin Carlisle

Today I’m pleased to introduce photographer Martin Carlisle. Martin has many stunning landscape photos. My favorites are his photos of mountains and rivers from Alaska. You can see examples of Martin’s landscape photos in this post.

Martin graciously offered to do a short interview for my blog. Here it is:

How did you get involved in photography?

Martin: When I was growing up my parents were doing photography and we always had cameras around and were encouraged to use them so I had a chance to see what some of the possibilities were but didn’t
get really serious about it until I was in my twenties. After that I was travelling more often to places like the Canadian Rockies and wanted to learn how to get the best results when photographing in areas like this. Seeing images from Ansel Adams, the Westons, Bruce Barnbaum, Ray Atkeson, the Muench generations and many others was very inspirational in seeing what could be done. I had a darkroom for printing black and whites and used slide film for colour but switched to digital about eight years ago.

What attracts you to landscape photography over other types of photography?

Martin: There’s always something special about being outdoors in the Rockies and many other areas. Trying to make photographs that really show something of this just seemed like a natural thing to try and do.

What is your favorite camera/lens combo for landscape photography?

Martin: I’ve used a number of different cameras over the years. For a long time I had an old second hand Hasselblad for medium format black and white film and an Olympus OM-1 and 4 for colour slides. For
digital I’ve used a Pentax K5 with a Tamron 17-50 zoom or Tamron 90mm macro which worked well. Recently I picked up a discounted Canon EOS M with its 17-55mm lens which is nice to use because of it’s small size which makes it much easier to carry than the larger cameras.

What post-processing software do you use and what steps do you follow in your post-processing workflow?

Martin: Usually Photoninja is used to do the raw conversion since I find I like the results with it better than Lightroom/ACR . Then the saved tiff goes into Lightroom5 where it might get some initial local adjustments and then into Photoshop CC. Frequently the tonal contrast filter of Nik Color Efex is used to adjust the contrast of the highlights, midtones and shadows separately. If it’s going to be a black and white it gets converted in Nik Silver Efex Pro II. After that it goes back to Lightroom for some final local adjustments.

What tips would you offer to the rookie landscape photographer?

Martin: Try and photograph frequently. Like everything else, the more you practice the better you get. The newer mirrorless cameras have advantages since they are smaller and easier to carry and so
can be with you more often than larger DSLRs and lenses. Turn off automatic adjustments and leave them on manual, it makes it better see how all the adjustments work together and how to set them
for best results than if the camera does it for you. Shoot everything  raw and find what software options can give you the results that you want. Look at other photographs. I saw a line in one of Ansel Adams
books once that said something like the scene before you may be exciting but will the picture of it be exciting. No matter what the subject is, when making a photograph of it it’s the final result that counts.

Take a look at Martin’s Flickr web page for more great landscape photos!